Some people are fans of the New England Patriots. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the New England Patriots. This 2014 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
Your team: New England Patriots.
Your 2013 record: 12-4, featuring an AFC title game curb-stomping at the hands of the Broncos, who were themselves curb-stomped by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl two weeks later. Obviously, this means that if the Patriots had played the Seahawks, they would have lost 945-6. God, I would love to see that happen in a Super Bowl one day. I'd love to see Pats fans get all stammery and annoying just because Pete Carroll beat them senseless. HE'S NAWT REALLY A GOOD COACH! WE KNOW BETTAH!
Two of the Patriots' four regular season losses last season came down to ticky-tack ref calls, like this one:
Lemme tell you something: Nothing brings me more joy than a Pats fan bitching about the refs while having ZERO memory of the Tuck Game. I thought the refs were on our side! Eat shit, fucko. Next time, don't go pushin'.
Your coach: Bill Belichick. FUN FACT: Whenever Bill Belichick trades a player for refusing a pay cut, Jim Nantz has to go wipe the ejaculate off the inside of his khakis. Belichick controls his players like a 19th century railroad magnate, and nothing pleases the hot take providers of America more. Every Tom, Dick, and Sully thinks a player who would dare play for another team besides the Patriots, or even consider getting more money in free agency, is unworthy of being a Belichick Man.
Such is Belichick's master manipulation of the media that he can make ANY move and have people searching for the hidden brilliance behind it. He can never just do something DUMB. There must be a subtle genius to trading away Logan Mankins for Tim Wright and a draft pick. Mankins is clearly washed up now. And Wright will clearly post numbers similar to Aaron Hernandez despite being as useful as a sack of flour in Tampa last season. The process is always the same. "This trade looks bad. But now that I remember Bill Belichick was behind it, IT'S A MASTERSTROKE."
Your quarterback: Tom Brady. I want those toilets shined so bright I can see my face in them, Tommy. I actually believe that Tom Brady goes home to Gisele and is basically her slave. After spending all week telling shitty receivers what to do and calling out blocking assignments for undrafted linemen, I bet he would like nothing more than to go home, relinquish control of everything, and let his wife kick his ass all over the place. Real Fifty Shades-type shit, with stiletto heels up his ass and everything.
It's worth noting here that a shocking number of Boston fans LOVE calling Brady washed up, because they think he's a pretty Cali boy and not one of them, and they can only tolerate Brady when he's winning titles. The lack of affection is stunning. In any other town, Brady would be a god. But Pats fans hate being repped by a dude who does magazine shoots. No title means Brady goes back to being a FAG in their eyes again. They secretly can't wait for Janeane Garofalo to take over. NOW THAT KID LOOKS TOUGH!
What's new that sucks: Here comes Darrelle Revis, another free agency bargain that Pats fans get to lord over you as if they had orchestrated the move themselves. Brandon Browner is here as well, finally partnered up with a coach that will be able to hide his PED use effectively. This is a better defense than a year ago, which is good because the offense is the same shit you saw last season: a platoon of oft-injured backs plus a corps of shitty wideouts (Edelman, Amendola, Thompkins, Dobson, newcomer Brandon LaFell) that will be overpraised simply because Tom Brady is the one throwing them the ball. And Gronk.
What has always sucked: My parents have lived in northern Connecticut for the past 23 years. Last summer, my sister decided to move back from the West Coast, because it had gotten too expensive and she wanted to be closer to my mom and dad (free day care!). After she moved her family, I thought to myself, You know what? Maybe we should move nearby, too. We could be closer to my whole family: my mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, everyone! So I took my family up for a weekend and started scouting neighborhoods on the outskirts of Hartford, far away enough from New York to be at the fringes of Masshole country.
This wasn't a lark. This was something I had been seriously considering. It made perfect sense, from both a financial and personal standpoint. I drove around in the rain, looking at a few houses that were tucked back into the woods (New England towns are always shrouded in woods and seeming perpetual darkness) and checking out town squares. And then I drove by a local high school. I eased the car up the driveway and pulled around to the entrance, and outside there were four students in Red Sox hats. They were Massholes in spirit, even if we weren't technically in Massachusetts. They had the dirty stubble. They had the shitty hats. They had that typical asshole Boston sports fan look of arrogant misery. Looked like they had just punched out a packy store clerk for not having any Kodiak behind the counter.
And I thought to myself… NOPE. No fucking way. I had two sons and I wasn't letting them grow up to be THAT. I'd far prefer they grow up to become dipshit Maryland lax bros. ANYTHING is preferable. I ditched the idea on the spot. That's how much you motherfuckers suck. All those titles in every sport and you're all STILL unhappy. All the fucking time. If my team had three rings, I would skip around my neighborhood naked all day long, throwing cupcake sprinkles at everyone.
But noooooo, not New England fans. No no no, they have to spend every last waking second bitching about all the additional titles they should have won. The Red Sox won a title last season—their third in the past decade—and yet they still bitch about the team sucking this year! JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. These are terrible people, and they root for a team run by a terrible man who demands passion from his players and then cuts those same players as bloodlessly as a guillotine operator. They are disloyal and hypocritical. They demand fealty and offer none of their own. Fuck them. Charles Barkley knows what time it is.
Football-wise, this team hasn't won a Super Bowl in 10 years (THE HORROR) and won't win another one because of their strict GRITTINESS BY SUBTRACTION policy. All the Patriots do now is hoard players from Rutgers and stockpile backup quarterbacks who get overvalued by fans simply because they took a piss next to Tom Brady.
What might not suck: God dammit, rest of the AFC. Get your shit together. God forbid any of you attempt to stop Manning and Brady from napping their way to the AFC title game again.
Hear it from Pats fans!
Season ticket holders live in fear of running afoul of the Gillette Etiquette Cops, so they're on their best behavior at the games, and they only ever give tickets to friends when they're 100% confident there's no chance of them getting in trouble, and even then the tickets come with a stern warning not to fuck up. This means that everyone at the game is a guy who doesn't want to be noticeably louder than the guy next to him, so the place has zero energy.
This comment on an article about Jimmy Garoppolo sums it up best:
"Garoppollo.....you have the opportunity to learn from the best, in one of the best organization in football and a chance to be the future heir to the "Throne" in a few years....if you blow this, you will probably never have another chance....so don't take it lightly.....Patriot Nation is watching...."
Bill Belichick ruined the last half of Brady's career (and 3+ extra Lombardi Trophies—that would make them the biggest winners in NFL history) by egotistically trying to get by with shit WRs and Julian Edelman/Troy Brown playing defensive back.
-The 72 year old owner's girlfriend is younger than Gisele and no one makes fun of the situation because of the ridiculous reverence for "Mr. Kraft"
-Against the Patriots, Eli Manning is a two-time Super Bowl winner. Against the other 28 teams he is a three-time league leader in most interceptions thrown
-Every Patriots fan thinks the Pats can draft a nobody QB in the 7th round and then after a year or two the other teams will be falling over each other to trade a 1st rounder for Ryan Mallet or Kevin O'Connell
These are the fans who think Wes Welker was the second coming of Christ, but complain incessantly every offseason that the team needs a "deep threat" who can "stretch the field." This is because in their braindead fantasy world, Randy Moss in his prime grows on trees and is readily available to sign every year. The #3 offense in the league wasn't good enough for these people, and if you talked to them you would have thought the Patriots fielded a Division II high school offense every week just because every game wasn't a 30 point victory.
There isn't a more entitled, whiny and just generally ignorant group of fans in the NFL. I struggle to even call them fans, because I doubt they'll be there in 5 years. Fuck these people.
We all know they'll steamroll the division and lose deep in the playoffs and all of us Pats fans will blame Brady's lack of weapons.
We're the only fans that will talk shit about our own coach constantly (Belichick can't draft! He trades all our best players! Every cornerback since Ty Law sucks! Why don't we ever draft receivers? How come we have 8,000 running backs? Why does he play Gronk on punt blocks? He drafted a guy that tore both ACLs in a year?? WHY???), but if someone else says anything bad about him, we flip into YO STFU HE'S THE SMARTEST COACH IN FOOTBALL AND HE COULD WIN WITH A BUNCH OF THIRD GRADERS!! I don't get it.
Also, someone will pay Darrelle Revis more money than us next year.
Did the Patriots select another kid from Rutgers in the draft this year? I honestly have no idea because I lose interest by the 19th round when Bill Belichick finally decides to use one of the picks he traded down for.
The only time I've been to Gillette Stadium is for an a cappella concert.
We've praised Belichick's ability to harness and use troubled players to no end.
I was out for drinks after work when another group asked to share our large table. We were only using half and were leaving soon anyway so we pleasantly obliged. I'm a Pats fan, but I also think Tom Brady has been vastly overrated (as a great playoff QB) for a while now. So my group got me going on that rant when the woman sitting right next to me leans in and says, "You don't like him because he has better hair than you." (I'm bald and shave my head). So this led to an argument which started friendly enough but quickly grew more tense as we went.
I'm paraphrasing here, but here are some highlights:
Me - Drew Bledsoe was better. I liked him a lot more.
Her - He doesn't even have a ring. (He does).
Me - Name me one big game he's won in the last decade.
Her - Oh getting to the AFC Championship game last year isn't good enough? (He lost that game).
Me - He is 0-2 against Eli Manning, and Eli has Down's Syndrome! (Yes I know, I'm a horrible person)
Her - Brady has more rings than the entire Manning family. (It's 3-3).
Extremely proud of myself I just threw up my hands and smugly said. "I'm just stating facts." Then things got serious. She said something like, "I'm going to tell you why I feel this way in a bit, but things like this really irritate me." She proceeded to tell me that I don't know how hard he works, how hard he plays, the surgeries he's been through, the shoulder pain, the injuries, etc. Then she topped it off with, "I'm his sister."
Our initial reaction was collectively saying, "No you are not," but after a couple questions and a google search we found that she was telling the truth. I shut right the fuck up after that. and immediately started apologizing for trashing her brother in front of her. We then quickly and quietly finished our beers, I paid for their drinks, apologized again, and then left.
(Ed. Note: I refuse to believe the person who wrote the letter above is a real human being.)
Every time there is a wide shot of Gillette Stadium, you'll notice most of those seats are empty because those privileged pieces of shit would rather stay inside in the bar area the entire game and watch it on TV or through the window. The Nutcracker has louder audiences.
In the past 13 years, Tom Brady has gone from everything I ever wanted to ever root for as a quarterback, to Tom Brady-Marino. Just an old, washed up cunt who blames everyone else around him for not being young and awesome anymore.
The Patriots run their team with the plan that it is better to get rid of a player a year too soon rather than a year too late. (Logan Mankins, Richard Seymour, Lawyer Milloy, ect.) Do they not realize they also bring in players five years too late? (Corey Dillon, Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth, Darrelle Revis, Junior Seau)
I went to a game with a ladyfriend who started reading a book for school during halftime. A Toothless lady in front saw and yelled in disgust- "You reading?!" She then got the whole section to taunt my friends. To this day I wasn't sure if she was upset that she was reading during a game or that she was a female who could read.
This year, you will come to hate Patriots fans talking about James Develin (a white fullback who MIGHT touch the ball once a game) with all the fervor you used to reserve for Bucs fans and Mike Alstott.
One of the most well known Pats fan is a man who drunkenly delivers himself as "Big Daddy Smooth", a 300 to 350 or so pound man who talks as if gravel is rattling in his rib cage at all times, and has a hand-stitched "Triple Jersey" ofPatriots-Celtics-Red Sox cut together, as yearly it gets more and more charred by cigar ash, covered in condiments, or covered in dirt. The man is like a Chris Farley-Mike Ditka experiment baby that no one asked for.
Fuck Drew Bledsoe.
All other football fans HATE us. If there was one team everyone could unanimously banish to the depths of hell it would be New England. Our owner is rich, punchable little cunt who's convinced the world that his team is smarter and better than everyone else, yet humbler and nicer than them.
Our tight end thought that time travel was a super power that'd allow him to teleport to present day Florida whenever he wanted.
This "dynasty" consists of a fluke win over a complacent Rams team, beating Jake Delhomme, and beating an Eagles team that was actively trying to defeat itself from within.
Fuck Laurence Maroney with an asbestos-ridden bag of jagged nails.
I shit you not, if you say anything bad about Bledsoe to any Patriots fan over 30, they will proceed to scold you for upwards of an hour and tell you how he's destined to go to the Hall-of-Fame some day.
Because I know that there are thousands of terrible things going on in the world today and it doesn't really bother me, but when someone suggests that Tom Brady is not the greatest quarterback of all time I lose my shit. I don't even know if he is (probably not), but I seek out these arguments. It relieves my stress.
Every Patriot fan knows, and may even tell you, that the only thing keeping this team from going 7-9 every year is a once-in-a-generation talent at quarterback. Once he's gone, Belichick won't get away with failing to address the team's holes. It'll be like Belichick in Cleveland again.
People seem to conveniently forget that Kraft tried to move the team to fucking Hartford which is essentially a city inhabited solely by Life Insurance companies and not actual people. Instead he strong armed a bunch of contractors into low bidding on a shitty stadium that is impossible to get to and actually closer to Providence (the New Jersey of New England) than Boston.
If I could see David Tyree beaten to death with his own detached limbs, I'd willingly subject myself to the same torture afterwards. Not only is he a shit head on the field, he's a shit head off. This motherfucker said he'd trade "the catch" for a universal ban on gay marriage. Most Pats fans probably would too, I suppose, but still. Fuck that guy.
I truly believe Darrelle Revis will have a good season for the Patriots... only for Belichick and Kraft to offer him an insultingly low contract extension (my bet is 2 years for one dollar and a strip of laundry detergent) causing Revis to go to Denver. They'll replace Revis by drafting a slow yet "versatile" white guy who played fourth string nickelback for Bethune Cookman College or some other no name school. Meanwhile us fans will defend this pick until death because we think Bill Belichick is smarter than Einstein.
Bob Kraft built a generic suburban mall on stadium property, except it doesn't have a roof because Massachusetts has great year-round weather. ButPatriots fans like The Razor anyway because there's room to park their monster trucks and they won't see any minorities like they would in Boston proper.
Bill Belichick would trade fucking Santa for a 5th on Christmas Eve.
As is protocol in Massachusetts, Mankins' reputation is already being smeared, though this time instead of being called something like a drug addict bum (hi Terry Francona!), it's under the facade of not being worth the money, which is complete bullshit.
All of this is to say that I thought they couldn't block before, but now we're totally boned. This could be one of the better offenses this team has seen, but the running game is going to be a series of 2 yard carries, and the passing game will have to be screens and dumps because Brady won't have any time to let routes develop. Belichick, the guy that has brought this team so much success, can be a fucking idiot with these personnel moves, and he's always gotten away with it because dumbfuck Pats fans and local media personalities like Mike Reiss would blindly follow him into a lake of fire.
Fuck Bill Belichick and his need to outthink the room every god damn day of the week.
The Patriots are sometimes held as the model NFL franchise. Given that involves ruthless mastery of professional sports' most callously exploitative labor model, I'm pretty sure that's not anything to be proud of. Also, Bill Simmons.
Fuck that goober Eli Manning and fuck that bigot David Tyree.
Fuck Ellis Hobbs with a thousand dicks.
I still own the Tim Tebow jersey a well-meaning relative purchased for me.
I once went to Phillies/Red Sox game back in 06. After Kevin Youkilis hit a triple, an annihilated member of Red Sox Nation in my section was yelling "YOOUUUUKK" at the top of his lungs. He did this for about 2 minutes, before a black man a few rows in front of him turned around and yelled "Youk Sucks!" The Masshole ran up to the guy, tackled him, and punched him in the face. Other fans had to pull him off and when security was taking him away he shouted out one last "FUCK YOU N*****R! Riley Cooper Style.
Nobody loves a scrappy, worthless white dude than a Patriots fan. They could have Megatron on the roster, and Julian Edelman's jersey would still sell more.
As a Patriots fan living in Virginia, you can imagine how excited I was to find out they'd be doing joint practices with the Redskins. Then I show up to training camp to find myself surrounded by 20,000 women in Brady jerseys. These women screamed for 3 hours nonstop at Tom from the sidelines. Three weeks later and my ears still aren't functioning.
I used to be a pedicab driver around Boston one summer. When giving tours of this boring-ass city, I would stop and show Pats fans the spot where Tom Brady T-boned that minivan in 2010. Many of these dipshits would get out to take photos of an empty intersection.
We've traded down or out of the first round "strategically" for much of Brady's prime and since Moss left, surrounded him with midgets and two really good tight ends that can't stay on the field or stop murdering people.
Bill Belichick has entered the "Metal Machine Music" phase of his coaching career. It's apparently more fun to try and make the playoffs with a community college football team, a fraternity Frankenstein and a scarf aficionado than to actually construct a team that might ever win a Super Bowl.
Three years ago some guy tried to fight me in the men's room because he thought he heard someone say I was from San Diego.*
* I've never even been to San Diego, I was wearing a New England jersey, and the Patriots were playing Jacksonville that day.
Every Pats fan derives SO MUCH of their own self-worth from the Patriots' perennial success. It's really a scourge too because you have all these shitheads who never left their own hometowns and who really ought to be thinking about self-betterment or at the VERY LEAST coming to the realization that they're worthless just straight sitting on top of the fucking world. Like life is just perfect when you set aside those two divorces and looming foreclosure, tie on a nice 7-beer buzz at 8am and swerve down Route 1 toPatriot Place! These people are on fucking Cloud 9 because Mr. Kraft ("Mr. Kraft!" We actually call him that!) stumbled into a top-5 in the history of forever quarterback in the sixth round.
The Patriots direct deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars into a quadruple murderer's checking account every two weeks.
Every year, my little brother (also a Pats fan) wears the exact same lazy man's Halloween costume: a Pats sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off and a giant set of headphones. To top it all off, he carries a video camera.
The Patriots have the most deplorable media in the league, BY FAR. Our best football writing comes from fucking Barstool Sports. Our most famous fan is Simmons, who has spent the past 6 years bitching about the goddamn Helmet Catch as lucky/a product of uncalled holding penalties. Fuck Simmons up the ass with a rusty crab leg. Thanks to our media, and the drunken racist cocksuckers who populate every bar and tailgate (before kindly leaving our generic, flaccid stadium with 10 minutes to go in the third quarter), it's virtually impossible to tell anyone outside New England you're a Pats fan without them looking at you like you just raped an infant. Every year, our shithead fans bitch and moan that if we don't win the Super Bowl, it was a wasted year. We've become everything we used to hate. We don't even enjoy football as much as we pray for the opportunity to troll the rest of the football landscape if/when we do win another title.
I don't care for Bob Kraft's shirts.
Anyone Brady can reliably complete a pass to is cursed.
I watched the 2013 AFC Championship against Baltimore at Professor Thom's in Manhattan, which turned out to be a huge mistake. The space was packed shoulder-to-shoulder, not with your usual meatstick Pats fans, but instead with the absolute worst possible collection of entitled New England prep school brats. It was like NYU and Exeter had polite missionary sex and stuck a pink Sox hat on the resulting abomination.
I live in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. One weird thing about people who grow up in the city proper is that we are almost universally Celtics and Red Sox fans, but of the small sample size of my seven closest 30-year-old neighborhood friends from grade school, two are Bills fans, one is a Cowboys fan, one is a Steelers fan, and one is a Niners fan. There's a strange disconnect between the Patriots and the city of Boston itself, and it goes two ways. Obviously before Drew Bledsoe the Pats were unwatchable, so Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin and Thurman Thomas were our introduction to what respectable football actually looks like. But Foxboro might as well be in Narnia. No way to get there via public transportation, and the stadium and its surrounding area was (and still kind of is) a wasteland.
I grew up in New England, went to school in New York, worked in Boston and now live in the South. Boston is the most racist of those places by a mile. Last year I was riding the T on the day Aaron Hernandez was indicted. A tatted up white dude in an Hernandez 81 jersey called a black guy a "fucking n****r" for taking up too much space with his baby stroller. Was he dipping into a clear plastic bottle? He sure was!
I know multiple people who not only own and actively wear Aaron Hernandez jerseys, but also believe that he is innocent and will be signed by the Patriots once he is released from jail.
During my morning commute I occasionally tune into WEEI, the aging dinosaur fart sports talk station in Boston. When not discussing hot political takes (fun fact: JFK would be a Republican if he were alive today!) The show will take an occasional call from a roster of closet oxycotin addicts, state troopers out on workman's comp, and youth hockey coaches from Wilmington singing the praises of the mythical PatriotsWay.
Anyways, I'm sure this pretty much par for the course for sports talk callers in most NFL markets, but I swear to god there is a sizable contingent of Father Flanagan types who preface any discussion of Tom Brady with "Well, he should have done the right thing and married Bridget Moynihan..."
We're less a football team and more an amalgamation of the all the evil teams in sports movies that the hero team finally beats and looks back on as a turning point. It's like our seasons were written by Matt Christopher.
Because every other Patriots fan I meet introduces themselves as a Red Sox fan.
I went to see them play the Colts at Gillette before the second major bandwagoning of '07 (when you could still get tickets for less than two bills). I witnessed three punches thrown before the game started and the Masshole directly behind me spent the entire first half drunkenly rocking in his seat, screaming "BRAY-DAY! FROW DA BAAAAAHHHHHHHM" over and over again. He went to the can at halftime and never came back. The stadium pretty much cleared out as soon as they started losing but I can't really blame anyone for leaving early because I literally spent more time in my car getting out of the parking lot than I did watching the entire game in the stadium.
Have you been to Gillette? The place is a fucking coffin.
I really don't think the Patriots and their fans deserve the level of vitriol they receive. Bostonians have gone through a great deal over the years, they've always had something of an identity crisis, and although they can be a little boisterous sometimes, underneath all their noise is a compassionate, intelligent, fair-minded people who've found an exceedingly close kinship through the prism of athletics. More than any other region, New England is brought together by its football, and it's that passion that makes such bonding possible.
Oh fuck these shitstains. Fuck them right to fucking hell.
Eli Manning can climb a wall of dicks, mouth-first.
Our head coach refuses to be a part of society and loves to look like his dog died every day.
I swear that our best receivers continue to get shorter and shorter every day.
We have the best tight end at football for about 4-5 games a year, all during the regular season, while the rest he's at home nursing some major injury and fucking pornstars.
There are still people in the Boston area who think that Aaron Hernandez is innocent.
I saw Tom Brady throw an out route into the stands. He then proceeded to yell unintelligible things at our receiver who was open. Because it's Tom Brady, I also blamed the receiver.
Being a Patriots fan has actually made me a worse person.
AFC South: Titans | Jaguars | Texans | Colts
NFC South: Falcons | Buccaneers | Panthers | Saints
AFC West: Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders | Broncos
NFC West: Rams |Cardinals | 49ers | Seahawks
AFC North: Steelers | Bengals | Browns | Ravens
NFC North: Bears | Packers | Lions | Vikings
AFC East: Jets | Dolphins | Bills | Patriots